On Tuesday, 14th October, the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan TD delivers Ireland's 8th and hopefully final austerity budget.  While initially it was expected that a budgetary adjustment of €2.1bn was required for 2015, the Minister for Finance has confirmed that the actual adjustment will be significantly less.

Over the past 8 years, we have lived with a bigger tax burden, including the USC, Property tax, and various tax rate increases.  Taoiseach Enda Kenny has confirmed that next week's budget will begin the process of cutting taxes and a reduction in the 52% rate of tax, however, it is not clear yet as to how it will take effect. The cut could be achieved through an increase in the Standard Rate band or a reduction in the rates of Income Tax, USC or PRSI. According to the Minister it is hoped that this cut will go towards the creation of 15,000 new jobs and will have the effect of reducing the tax burden on low and middle income families.

Fiona Murphy, Taxation Director with Russell Brennan Keane says "our 12½% Corporate tax will remain, however there is increased scrutiny of the Irish tax regime particularly in the context of the European Commission's investigation into some high profile tax deals with the Revenue Commissioners. The government has signalled its support to the EU and OECD in relation to tax matters. 

On the capital taxes side ''The Commission for Taxation made various recommendations a number of years back which included a number of proposals, which, in the main, have not been implemented'' Whilst the Capital Gains Tax and Capital Acquisitions Tax rates have increased from 20% gradually to 33% over the last number of years, further amendments may emerge in this budget", commented Fiona.

Rumours about changes to capital taxes reliefs arise every year but perhaps they will fail to materialise again in order to protect family businesses in particular, where family business assets are being passed on to the next generation.

Minister Noonan, in an attempt to kick start construction and tackle a shortage of homes in the Dublin market, recently confirmed that to date no revenue has been collected under the Windfall Tax and there is wide speculation that this tax, currently set at 80% will either be reduced or eliminated entirely.

Overall, it is hoped that the forthcoming budget should be positive from a tax perspective particularly for low and middle income families with an increase in their take home pay.

Russell Brennan Keane, Ulster Bank and Athlone Chamber are holding a Budget Briefing on Wednesday morning, 15th October 2014 at the Sheraton Athlone Hotel to analyse the Minister's proposals and provide timely advice for businesses on the implications.

John McGrath, President of Athlone Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is delighted with the involvement of the Chamber in this very informative event again this year.  John commented ''Our members are eager that the Government support SME's in the coming budget as well as putting measures in place for housing and job creation.  The retention of the current hospitality VAT rate will be one such measure.  We look forward to meeting as many as possible of our members on the morning''.

Caroline Miney of Ulster Bank commented "We are delighted to again to be associated with the Annual Budget Breakfast in conjunction with our friends in Russell Brennan Keane and Athlone Chamber.  I look forward to an informative and worthwhile event and to meet with you on the day," Caroline Miney is Head of Ulster Bank Galway / Mayo / Midlands Business Centres                .

To register and hear all the latest from Fiona Murphy on how the budget affects you please contact budget2015@rbk.ie or call (090) 6480651.